Player of the Game
Today's player of the game award goes to Travis Hafner with a 'POG' score of 3.36. Travis showed some of his old power, hitting a solo home run deep into the White Sox bullpen. Hafner also later singled. This is Hafner's first 'Player of the Game' this season. The worst player of the game, for the second day in a row, goes to the starting pitcher. This time it was Carlos Carrasco with a score of -4.81. Carrasco didn't pitch as badly as Carmona did yesterday, but he still allowed 7 ER in 6.2 IP. The overall team score was down from yesterday, as three hitters had negative performances at the plate (A. Cabrera, Choo and LaPorta). Final team 'POG' score was a 2.27.
Today, the Cleveland Indians lost to the Chicago White Sox...again. We're going to try a new way to do the game recap with a segment I like to call, Feathers Up, Feathers Down.
Jack Hannahan continued his good play from opening day into today's game, by hitting a two run single and playing stellar defense at third. In the second inning Hannahan dove to his left to steal a hit away from Alex Rios and later in the game picked a short hop and made a strong throw to first for the out. (Check out Hannahan's "live-ing" grab here.)
The defense has been solid during the first two games as the Tribe has yet to commit an error. Along with Hannahan, Carlos Carrasco did a good job fielding his position today, when he threw out the lead runner at third on an attempted sacrifice bunt. The only misstep today was when Carlos Santana threw a ball into centerfield on a stolen base, but since the runner did not advance, it didn't really matter.
Travis Hafner showed the power that we all love him for today, when he launched a ball into the White Sox bullpen, or as Matt Underwood called it today, "Souvenir City" (everyone knows how those relief pitchers love their souvenirs). Considered a team weakness during Spring Training, the team's power hitting has been strong the last two games. Santana, Hannahan and Hafner have all hit home runs already, which is pretty good considering its been in the mid 40's both games.
Starting pitching has been a real weakness in both games this season. Today it was Carlos Carrasco taking the hit, allowing ten (hits), and two walks in only 6.2 IP. Carrasco allowed 7 of the 8 runs scored against the Tribe (the 7th run came when Chad Durbin allowed one of Carrasco's runners to score in the 7th) The biggest issue is that 5 of those runs were scored in the first two innings, making it very hard to come back. Carrasco settled down and pitched well after the second, but it was already too late.
After the two kids (Herrmann and Pestano) pitched so well yesterday, the relief pitching today was just ugly. Chad Durbin came in the 7th with two outs and a runner on, and proceeded to walk the first hitter and allow a double to the next. This way he gave up not only Carrasco's 7th run, but one of his own as well. Rafael Perez also pitched and had some trouble with his command. He walked two hitters before getting double play and striking out the last batter in the 9th.
I know its only two games into the season, but it would be great if Matt LaPorta could not get out every time the game is close and there are runners in scoring position. In the first two games he has left 6 RISP on base, four of those coming today. The last problem is that after being so proud of the Indians yesterday for only striking out twice, they came back to form today, striking out 11 times, including a silver sombrero (four strikeouts) for Shin-Soo Choo. Who would have thought that Edwin Jackson would pitch better against this lineup than Mark Buehrle?
Final Score: Indians lose to the White Sox (again) 8-3. The Indians are now 0-2, the White Sox 2-0.